Inter-Korean high-level talks were held on Jan. 9 at the "house of peace" in the south side portion of Panmunjom amid great expectation and interest of all the fellow countrymen and the public at home and abroad.
Present there were a delegation of the north side led by Ri Son Gwon, chairman of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Country of the DPRK, and a delegation of the south side with Minister of Unification Jo Myong Gyun as chief delegate.
At the talks the north and south authorities discussed in earnest the principled issues arising in successfully holding the 23rd Winter Olympics in south Korea and improving the inter-Korean relations, and adopted the following joint press release:
Joint press release of inter-Korean high-level talks
Inter-Korean high-level talks were held at Panmunjom on Jan. 9.
At the talks both sides had sincere discussions on the participation of a delegation of the north side in the 23rd Winter Olympics and Paralympics and the improvement of the inter-Korean relations in conformity with the desire and expectations of all Koreans and agreed as follows:
The north and the south agreed to proactively cooperate in ensuring that the 23rd Winter Olympics and Paralympics in the south side area would be successfully held, providing an occasion for enhancing the prestige of the nation.
In this regard the north side agreed to send a delegation of the National Olympic Committee, sports team, a cheer group, an art troupe, a Taekwon-do demonstration group and a press corps along with a high-level delegation to the Olympics, and the south side agreed to provide conveniences needed for them.
Both sides agreed to open working-level talks with regard to the north's dispatching of an advance party for a field tour beforehand and participation in the Winter Olympics, and agreed to discuss a schedule in the way of exchange of documents hereafter.
The north and the south agreed to make concerted efforts to ease the military tension, create a peaceful environment in the Korean peninsula and promote national reconciliation and unity.
They shared the viewpoint that the present military tension should be ironed out and agreed to have talks between the military authorities to this end.
They agreed to promote national reconciliation and unity by invigorating contacts and travels, and exchange and cooperation in various fields.
The north and the south agreed to respect the north-south declarations and solve all problems arising in inter-Korean relations through dialogue and negotiations on the principle of By Our Nation Itself.
To this end, both sides agreed to have talks of every field along with high-level talks between the north and the south aimed at improving the inter-Korean relations.
Democracy and Class Struggle say that he South Korean representatives also pressed their North Korean counterparts about denuclearization, an issue the North Koreans had made clear as not part of the inter-Korean talks.
North Korea’s Ri Son-gwon warned that South Korea’s false reports about denuclearization being part of these talks could derail their discussion:
“The South Korean press is currently spreading the absurd notion that the issue of denuclearization is being addressed during the high-level inter-Korean talks. This has a very bad effect. There are so many things that must be done after inter-Korean relations improve, and spreading misleading reports at the outset doesn’t look good and could wreck the progress we’ve made.”